JEDDAH: The National Center of Meteorology recorded 179 mm of rainfall on Thursday, the highest amount ever received in the city.
Rain fell from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the south of the province in a heavier downpour than the previous biggest, in 2009.
The Jeddah Municipality announced a maximum alert in the wake of the weather conditions, while the meteorology center warned of moderate to heavy rain in the governorates of Jeddah and Rabigh in the Makkah region, including Thuwal and coastal areas, accompanied by surface winds, hail and flooding, until 7 p.m. on Thursday.
King Abdulaziz Airport announced that some flights had been delayed due to the weather. The airport was hoping to communicate with air carriers to confirm dates and times for rearranged flights.
Makkah Municipality employs 11,800 field workers to prepare for the rainy season. It has machinery and equipment to deal with the expected conditions. Its operation and maintenance department assesses the performance of rainwater drainage network channels in main and side roads, intersections and squares.
It removes sediment which can impede water flow in drainage systems, in accordance with contingency plans.
Task forces and equipment have been deployed throughout Makkah, with some 52 water tanks, each with a capacity of 194,000 gallons, removing floodwaters. Some 146 excavating machines and 89 multipurpose trucks have been dealing with the impact of the rain and removing water from the roads and streets.
The municipality has also organized field teams to remove waste that may have built up in the wake of the downpours.
It has also increased the number of cleaning teams to work on clearing sewers to prevent any dangers that may pose a threat to residents and visitors.
The teams have been deployed along with 520 machines, including lorries, pump tanks, Bobcats, tankers and automated sweepers, as well as a large number of pumps and excavating machines. Work is being carried out around the clock to implement contingency plans.
Makkah contains huge rainwater drainage systems that reach around 540 km and cover all of the region’s neighborhoods and holy sites. The systems include closed trunk water mains and deep tunnel networks, as well as shallow and open drainage channels.
The municipality also carries out maintenance and cleaning operations throughout the year to help reduce the effects of flooding on the region.